RAMALLAH, September 29 (JMCC) - Palestinian officials are refusing to confirm a report from al-Quds newspaper that they are seeking the removal of Tony Blair as envoy to the Quartet, a working group on the Mideast comprised of the United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations.They told The Independent
, however, that they are unhappy with Blair's positions.
A PLO official would not confirm the report but said there was discontent over his stance. Does the Palestinian Authority trust Tony Blair? The answer is no. Does anyone in the Palestinian leadership support Tony Blair? The answer is no, the PLO official said. He is closer to an Israeli diplomat than a neutral negotiator.
Mr Blair, who has held the Quartet envoy post since 2007, has drawn Palestinian ire over a series of steps perceived as hostile to the Palestinians, including, the Palestinians say, his recent efforts to lobby European powers to drop their support for the Palestinian UN statehood bid. He also angered many with a new Quartet initiative to revive peace talks in recent days that made no mention of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a critical stumbling block to negotiations.
Blair has been in the news recently as earning a controversial amount of money during his tenure as envoy by advising on business deals for Qatar.